Cutting Edge Marketing Strategies for 2017: Love Thy Leviathan
Digital marketing is indeed a leviathan. It consists of all that came before it just as it shall consist of all that is yet to come. As 2016 draws to a close we can reflect upon what the year has taught us. We can also now reflect upon how the digital marketing landscape has grown. It has not changed, as it never changes. It grows and is added to like a giant ball of chewing gum. As new chewing gum covers the old, our focus shifts, and yet the old always remains beneath. In this article I will be exploring a set of strategies that when adhered to, will help propel your business into 2017 with enough force so as to bring you close to the leviathan, and in doing so, you shall befriend the beast as it imparts its wisdom to you, and to your marketing as well.
*I shall from hereon in channel the voice of the leviathan as if it were my own, all text denoted in italics is born from the creature itself, I will then elaborate upon its teachings* Why am I doing this? Because I can.
“The world is screaming out for more customizable content, give it to them”
Being able to personalize an item, a commodity or even a service allows for the injection of the self into that item, commodity or service. You became a part of the brand and you become emotionally involved in the transaction. This instantly increases how valuable you as a company appear to your customers; it subsumes a powerful piece of self-identification that is as precious as gold.
If you are able to, then you absolutely should be striving towards a customizable user experience complete with add-ons, extras and exciting features. No matter what field of industry you are from, I can guarantee that you are fighting other businesses for attention and/or recognition. By allowing prospective customers to customize, you will instantly increase your value against the competition.
“The written word is no longer enough. You must impress the eyes, as well as the mind”
Text based content, such as pdfs, whitepapers, eBooks et al can no longer engage your audience on their own. They need help. The digital marketing landscape is saturated with text and it is your job to get your content to stand out against the crowd. To get noticed, you must start making your content interactive. It must include aspects of the visual, and it must be creative. Thankfully, there are a lot of ways to combine traditional text based content marketing with new interactive content marketing. Variety is your best friend – do not restrict yourself to one medium! Or you will fail. Variety also allows for your audience to engage with your content in the form that they want, not in the way that you want. Keeping your content multifaceted also lets it be shared across most if not all social media platforms, maximizing not only reach but engagement as well.
Below is a by no means exhaustive list of the ways in which you can combine your old-style content marketing with the evolution of audience interaction:
- Use infographics to bring attention to your key points: This allows you to engage your reader on multiple levels whilst also highlighting the most interesting aspects of the article itself.
- Dissolve your entire post into video – film yourself speaking it or just record the audio: This gives the content a 3rd dimension and is particulary effective at engaging individuals who may not neccessarily want to read about your chosen blog topic.
- Place a short video atop your article introducing it: This can act as a fantastic way into your blog allowing individuals to engage with your content but also yourself and your business as well – you are engaging sight and mind in canon.
- Consider interactive components that allow your reader to view the information discussed in your blog: These components could include things such as slide shows and non-static infographics. This allows your reader to get involved with the piece! Short of rolling the mouse wheel.
- Slideshows let your key facts speak for themselves: Perhaps your reader doesn’t have time to read a full blog? Perhaps they’re too busy, that is where a slideshow can work wonders for engagement. Dissolving your piece into a slideshow makes it far easier to digest.
“You can now address your audience directly, embrace the conversation, but let them do the talking”
Instant messaging has been around for a very long time. 2017 is the year to embrace it. I say this because using instant messaging to reach out to your customers is no longer seen as intrusive, it is now seen as personal. With one rather large caveat, you must let them make the first move. Be ready to reply the second a message comes in; you won’t regret it.
There is also a great deal of research that shows prospective customers trust the opinions of current customers (or users of a service) a great deal. Especially when that opinion is posted onto a forum, a social page or a blog posted by the company in question. In order to use this trust to your advantage you should start encouraging your followers to be as vocal as they can in discussing a topic or a service or a product. Avoid over-zealousness with this one however, social media does not necessarily begat honesty.
“Target your audience like a spear fisherman, and then earn their loyalty”
There are too many blogs out in the world. That is the long and the short of it. Generalized blogs are now a thing of the past – though, to bring up that metaphorical chewing gum ball once more – evergreen content does (and must always) have a place in any good content marketing strategy. The real engagement; the real intrigue is now in the specific blogs that target a specific issue or explore a niche topic. The more generalized a piece, the higher the chances of it having been done before, time, and time, and time again. (He writes hoping that nobody has ever channeled a semi-quixotic Hobbesian beast in order to discuss digital marketing strategies…) The greater your targeting is, the higher your engagement will be. You must have your buyer persona detailed to the letter, and you must know each and every one of their challenges like the back of your own goddamn hand.
Once their hooked, you’ve got to keep them hooked! There are many ways to do this, below are a list of some of the most effective:
- Make subscribing to your blog posts quick, clear and simple
- Update your content regularly and release new blogs at a steady pace
- Engage your audience directly using IM or via a comments section/social page
- Incentivize your audience. Offer prizes, discounts, access to unique content – anything to make sure that they return!
Thus concludes our time together. At this point I would offer up an incentive, like free money? But I just don’t have that kind of power, not yet anyway… Until next time!